World Tuberculosis Day is observed on 24 March each year, this day is to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease. Also Read - Fact Check: Did WHO Warn India of 50,000 Covid-19 Deaths by April 15? Here's The Truth Behind Viral Video

Dr Koch’s discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease. This day is observed to educate the public about the impact of TB around the world.  TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. According to WHO, TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, nearly 4000 lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 63 million lives since the year 2000. Also Read - WHO-China Report Says Animals Likely Source of Covid-19, Calls Lab Leak 'Extremely Unlikely'

Theme of World TB Day 2021:  Also Read - Corona Passport: All You Need To Know About Vaccine Travel Pass, Benefits And Concerns

The theme of World TB Day 2021 – ‘The Clock is Ticking’ –conveys the sense that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments to end TB made by global leaders.

On this day, The World Health Organisation has called on everyone to keep the promise:

– Accelerate the End TB Response to reach the targets set in Sustainable Development Goals, diagnose and treat 40 million people with TB by 2022 including 3.5 million children and 1.5 million people with drug-resistant TB.

– WHO also aims to mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing to reach USD 13 billion a year to support efforts to end TB; for every USD 1 invested to end TB, USD 43 is returned as the benefits of a healthy functioning society (Economist/ Copenhagen Consensus).

President Ram Nath Kovind also came forward to talk about World TB day and complimented the National TB Elimination Program on their commendable achievements despite the difficult circumstances.

“The year 2020 was a watershed moment for healthcare in India as well as around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic underlined the importance of a quality healthcare system accessible to every individual. The entire National TB Elimination Program was at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19. Their commitment towards tackling the COVID pandemic while continuing with TB elimination efforts is commendable,” the president said.

“Government of India is committed to achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage as per the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is being implemented under the aegis of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana which is the largest national insurance scheme in the world,” he added.

He concluded by saying that on the occasion of World TB Day, we should reinvigorate our efforts to achieve ‘Health for All’, and create a brighter and healthier future for generations to come.